Ayumi Morita, Misaki Doi, Kurumi Nara and tournament-debutante Shuko Aoyama have been selected to face Spain in the Fed Cup World Group relegation playoff later this month, the Japan Tennis Association said on Tuesday.
Noticeably missing will be 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm, who did not make the cut for the April 20-21 meet in Barcelona. The two nations have only met once before, with Spain winning 3-0 in 1994.
Japan coach Takeshi Murakami signaled a changing of the guard.
“We have depended on her (Date-Krumm) up until now, but after watching Morita’s performance against Russia, I decided it was time for a switch,” Murakami said.
Japan fell 3-2 to Russia in the World Group first round in February, when Morita won both of her singles rubbers to give Japan a 2-1 lead before Date-Krumm lost for the second time and Russia rallied in the final doubles rubber to seal victory.